Isle carriers defy U.S. on-time ratings
Nearly 30 percent of flights were delayed nationwide in August
WASHINGTON » The airline industry's dismal on-time performance in 2007 continued in August with nearly 30 percent of flights delayed, but Hawaii's two largest carriers fared better.
The nation's 20 largest carriers reported an on-time arrival rate of 71.7 percent in August, down from 75.8 percent a year ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said yesterday.
The on-time rate was 69.8 percent in July and 68.1 percent in June.
Through August, more than 25 percent of flights have arrived late -- the industry's worst on-time performance since comparable data began being collected in 1995.
August's on-time performance was the second worst on record for that month, topped only by a 70 percent arrival rate in 2000. But not all airline performance was poor.
Aloha Airlines had the highest on-time arrival rate at 97 percent -- a figure the carrier said was a two-year high for all airlines -- followed by Hawaiian Holdings Inc.'s Hawaiian Airlines at 93.7 percent and Southwest Airlines at 77.7 percent, according to government data.
Mesa Air Group, which operates the interisland carrier go! in Hawaii, ranked eighth, at 73.6 percent systemwide. Separate figures for go! were not available; the company has said go! accounts for about 2 percent of its total operations.
But almost half of Atlantic Southeast Airlines were delayed, and two of its flights arrived late every time they took off. The Delta Connection carrier, which is owned by SkyWest Inc., had the lowest on-time arrival rate at 55 percent, followed by United Airlines at 66.2 percent and Alaska Airlines at 67.1 percent.
The rates of mishandled baggage fell to about 7.6 reports per 1,000 passengers from 8.1 reports a year ago, according to government data.
The most recent government data, which also showed a surge in fliers' complaints, was released less than a week after President Bush promised to help fix the problem.
Forcing carriers to shrink their flight schedules or to pay more to fly during peak travel periods are some of the steps the government is considering.